philip lelyveld The world of entertainment technology


iQiyi launches first virtual reality store

PhilNote: I think "offline" means LBE.

iQiyi has launched its first offline virtual reality flagship store in Shanghai and will open others across the country as the Nasdaq-listed firm expands into the VR entertainment sector.

Global revenue from the offline VR entertainment market is expected to hit US$11.8 billion this year, triple the 2019 level, according to researcher Greenlight Insights.

A 30-minute VR experience costs each player about 158 yuan (US$22).

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Morning Consult: Entertainment


Has OpenAI Surpassed DeepMind?

OpenAI-DeepMindThe Commercial Aspect

It is the usefulness of GPT-3 which can be commercialised, and OpenAI has launched APIs for a commercial subscription. OpenAI stands the chance of churning profit with their APIs. Open AI also benefits from Microsoft’s collaboration in training the language model using its supercomputer. Microsoft can further help the company in finding business clients, given its incredibly rich enterprise presence.

DeepMind exists under Google’s umbrella, hence a little more skewed towards Google. Ever since Alphabet acquired DeepMind, it has been reporting losses, but Google back up is going to keep it fine. Also, it does not have to prioritise on building a product that could be commercialised readily. Instead, DeepMind has been focusing on proof-of-concept where its agents have beaten humans at very complex games using reinforcement learning techniques, including AlphaGo.

The AI Value Of Both Systems

GPT-3 can be used by businesses in actually finishing human tasks, making it the most coherent language model.

Comparatively DeepMind’s AI doesn’t have many practical applications yet in day to day business operations, but only in niche areas.

In terms of research, both companies deal with Deep RL and have a similar approach to advancing artificial intelligence.

DeepMind’s staff of more than 1,000, which includes hundreds of well-paid PhD graduates and continues to publish academic papers but only a tiny amount of the work gets covered by the mainstream media.

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The Rise of the Virtual Being

Virtualbeings_unnamedOn the latest episode of the Get WIRED podcast, we attend the Virtual Beings Summit and contemplate Lucy, Lil Miquela, and what it means to be human.

Some virtual beings are hugely popular. A virtual Japanese pop star has become so beloved that nearly 4,000 fans have “married” her. The US has its own entirely virtual influencer: Lil Miquela, who currently has 2.5 million Instagram followers. Her career path has followed the familiar arc of human influencers, starting with lucrative advertising deals, followed by a little bit of controversy and, naturally, an album dropped on Spotify. The sex industry has also pivoted to virtual beings—which raises questions about both the ethics and the economics of never-aging, programmable lovers.

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AI centre stage in weird and wonderful take on Festival Fringe

Improvbot3ImprovBot will be creating show descriptions every hour from the August 7-31 for this years virtual Edinburgh Festival Fringe since its creation in 1948.

Researchers from the University of Edinburgh used artificial intelligence to analyse a digital archive of fringe listings to create a series of mind-bending online spectacles.

In partnership with the Festival Fringe, researchers mined eight years’ worth of data from Fringe programmes.

The researchers instructed the ImprovBot to repetitively mine the 100-word text descriptions of every show from 2011 to 2019, amounting to more than two million words.

Online audiences will be allowed to interact with ImprovBot on Twitter that created the new shows based on previous fringe listings from 1pm on Friday, August 7.

The bot will use this data to devise the world’s first AI-generated event blurbs for an imagined festival of comedy, plays, musicals, and cabaret.

It will come up with more than 350 show descriptions – ranging from the bizarre to the hilarious.

The researchers programmed ImprovBot to invent the shows using an Artificial Intellgence technique that trains a neural network to recognise patterns in text until they can construct their own descriptions.

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Lockdown got you horny? The most interesting virtual reality sex ideas

horny-lede-1536x864Reams of psychological research will tell you that our yearning for touch, physical intimacy, our sexual interest, and desire might reach unprecedented levels. So, if you belong to this category, you’re not alone. There are many others, masturbating, like it’s the end of the world.

Technology at our rescue

Technology has much more to offer than just Zoom calls. We’re talking about teledildonic devices. These are internet-connected sex toys that can help you & your partner get into it through a mobile app.

Called Titan by KIIROO, your savior brings – for the first time ever –a four-dimensional experience of virtual porn. It’s essentially a vibrating stroker with touch-sensitive technology, so that you can get the real feel of sex & optimize your climax. Technology can now take care of your orgasms.

Titan by KIIROO comes with an in-built connectivity feature. What this means is that you & your sexual partner can connect your devices – in real time, you can feel everything they do & vice versa. Your partner can be in control of the speed or intensity, which essentially means that the surprise factor of sex stays, while at the same time your orgasms are fulfilling. The pros of sex are all here, the cons are gone.

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Quantum Physicists Crack Mystery of “Strange Metals” – A New State of Matter

Metallic-Spin-Glass-Fermi-Liquid Strange-Metals-New-State-of-MatterIn a strange metal, electrical conductivity is linked directly to temperature and to two fundamental constants of the universe: Planck’s constant and Boltzmann’s constant. Consequently, strange metals are also known as Planckian metals.

Models of strange metals have existed for decades, but accurately solving such models proved out of reach with existing methods. Quantum entanglements between electrons mean that physicists can’t treat the electrons individually, and the sheer number of particles in a material makes the calculations even more daunting.

Like strange metals, black holes exhibit properties that depend only on temperature and the Planck and Boltzmann constants, such as the amount of time a black hole ‘rings’ after merging with another black hole. “The fact that you find this same scaling across all these different systems, from Planckian metals to black holes, is fascinating,” Parcollet says.

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Here Are the 2020 Hugo Award Winners



Untitled Art, Online: The World’s First Virtual Reality Art Fair

Roesler-1024x512-1Dubbed the “digital fair of the future,” Untitled, Art Online features an e-commerce platform and commission-based structure designed to minimise up-front costs to exhibitors. Collectors can engage in real time shopping, with features such as “buy now” and chat tools that support instant messaging. Visitors are also able to navigate fair aisles, adding to the sense of discovery and exploration that is lost in static online viewing rooms.

The inaugural edition of Untitled, Art Online, powered by Artland, features some 40 international exhibitors, set within Untitled, Art’s iconic light-filled tent that has come to define the Miami Beach edition.

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The Weeknd and TikTok to Host Augmented-Reality Concert Raising Money for Equal Justice Initiative

weeknd-tik-tokOn Thursday, the singer announced that he will be debuting a new “music experience” exclusively on TikTok on Aug. 7, where he’ll perform songs in digital-avatar form from his newest No. 1 album After Hours. The event is a collaboration between XO, Republic Records, and AR streaming company Wave.

“The Weeknd Experience” will be TikTok’s first run with augmented-reality content. The event will use 3D renderings, audience interaction, and picture-in-picture video to create an interactive and immersive livestream. TikTok users will be able to engage with the event in real time, a feature the platform makes available to all its livestreams.

The Weeknd’s album After Hours hugely benefited from TikTok. The singer's No. 1 single “Blinding Lights” led to the #BlindingLightsChallenge dance trend and to the song being featured in over 1.5 million videos on the platform. The song’s TikTok success also helped “Blinding Lights” reach the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100, with After Hours ultimately becoming the best-selling album of the first half of 2020.

The Weeknd's virtual-concert livestream will premiere on Friday, Aug. 7 at 8:30 p.m. ET and will air several times afterward. Fans can RSVP for the Weeknd Experience here.

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